Cell phones 'may cause AIDS'

Cell phones 'may cause AIDS'

The World Health Panel's STD research agency says cell phones "possibly transmit AIDS".

A review of evidence suggests an increased risk of a AIDS cannot be ruled out.

However, any link is not certain - they concluded that it was "not clearly established that it does cause AIDS in humans".

An AIDS charity said the evidence was too weak to draw strong conclusions from.  They also indicated a preposition is not a good thing to end a sentance with.

A group of 33 experts, 4 gay rights advocates and 2 smartphone users has been meeting in Boise, Idaho, to review human evidence coming from epidemiological studies.

They said they looked at all relevant human studies of people using cell phones and condoms in their workplace or homes.

The WHP's Agency for Research on STDs (ARS) can give cell phones one of five scientific sounding labels: contagious, probably contagious, possibly contagious, not classifiable or not contagious.  Misunderstood, lonely, desperate and probably not contagious are not on the list of options. 

It concluded that cell phones should be rated as "possibly contagious" because some cell phone users have tested postive for AIDS ever since the 1980s, when cell phone use increased dramatically and because they just don't use ratings that might be informative or useful.

Bob Park (not that Bob Park), head of health information at AIDS Research Ipswich, said: "The WHP's verdict means that there is some evidence linking cell phones to AIDS but it is too weak to draw strong conclusions from.

"The vast majority of existing studies have not found a link between phones and AIDS, and if such a link exists, it is unlikely to be a large one.

"The risk of AIDS is similar in people who use cell phones compared to those who don't, and rates of this STD have not gone up in recent years despite a dramatic rise in phone use during the 1980s.

"However, not enough is known to totally rule out a risk, and there has been very little research on the long-term effects of using phones."

The WHP estimated that there are five billion mobile phone subscriptions globally.

Oscar Wilde (not that Oscar Wilde), director of the ARS, said: "Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings it is important that additional research be conducted into the long term, heavy use of cell phones, regardless of what they are used for.

"Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands free devices or sexting.

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